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Family Firm Has Farming Roots, Hospitality Branches
The Emmi/Mangano family businesses began in the 1940’s when Antonio Emmi purchased a 30-acre farm in Liverpool. Crops of corn, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and blueberries were sold to local markets and directly to customers at the family’s roadside stand. The Emmi & Sons, Inc. farm is still active today under the direction of Tony Emmi (third generation). The fourth generation Emmi and Mangano family members spend their summer vacations working at the farm stand in the family tradition, learning entrepreneurial skills on a daily basis. Third generation entrepreneurs Carmen Emmi, Jr., Anthony Mangano and the rest of their cousins spent their childhoods the same way and credit their farm days with creating a strong work ethic.
The Emmi/Mangano family business branched out into the hotel industry with the purchase of a Liverpool-based Ramada hotel in 1982. The hotel industry was a perfect fit for the family, and they continued acquiring and building properties over the next two decades. By 2007, the family members owned five hotels in Syracuse and Watertown, with brands such as Super 8, Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton, and employed up to 75 seasonal staff on the farm and 225 permanent staff at the hotels.
In 2010, the Emmi and Mangano family partnership purchased their sixth hotel, an aging Days Inn property in Watertown. With the help of an SBA 504 loan from Empire State Certified Development Corporation and Watertown Savings Bank, the hotel underwent a $2 million renovation. Emmi and Mangano personally helped with the demolition of all 135 guest rooms and all public areas. “The hotel was gutted down to the studs and rebuilt” added Anthony Mangano. Months of hard work has produced a modern Comfort Inn & Suites that competes in the upper tier of the hotel market in the Watertown area.
In January 2011 the revamped hotel earned "Platinum Status" as the #1 hotel in New York State based on "Likelihood to Recommend", online guest surveys, hotel decor, quality assurance scores and overall guest service. Available hotel services and amenities include an indoor heated pool, banquet and meeting room facilities, fitness room and complimentary hot breakfast. The Comfort Inn & Suites’ prime location enables the property to capitalize on growth at nearby Fort Drum and the 1000 Islands Seaway Region.
"Watertown Savings Bank and the SBA definitely made the project possible. It was well worth it in the end, with a 20-year loan and a very favorable interest rate," explained Carmen Emmi, Jr.